The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture has appointed a new General Manager for Cultural Affairs, replacing the recently retired Mrs. B. Nobongoza.The new General Manager for Cultural Affairs is Mr. Sakhiwe Michael Sodo, born and bred in Mthatha in the O R Tambo District. He is happily married to Mrs. Fezeka Felicia, the daughter of Nkosi Vulisango Ndamase one of the Mpondo chiefs that were exceptionally close to King Poto Ndamase. Mr. and Mrs. Sodo have five children, namely, Nwabisa, Msimelelo, Lumanyano, Afika and Sakhekile.
Mr. Sodo studied his JC (Std 8) education at Dilizintaba High School, Tsolo during the principalship of Mr. Mahlakata, "Ah! Nkomiyahlaba" as the then principal was affectionately known to his students. He matriculated at Jumba High School during the principalship of Mr. Nyathi, "Mlungu" as the latter principal was affectionately called by both teachers and students. His (Mr. Sodo's) inclinationation towards the arts was discovered at this early stage when he participated as part of the main actors in a drama that was popular at the time, Let the child see the world. The play was composed and directed by the eminent but under celebrated Tamsanqa "Tami" Ngqobe of Flagstaff, the elder brother of the very well-known Tandi Ngqobe. Mr. Sodo, in the play, featured as the notorious Nkuzo. The play was so popular that it toured some of the respected tertiary institutions like Cicira College of Education while it was presented by High School children. Mr. Sodo later penned his own play called Ilizwe lentungu nentlupheko. This was Mr. Sodo's impressions of Cry the Beloved Country, a book written by the celebrated Alan Paton. The play featured largely unemployed matriculants from Ncise, a village 15kms away from Mthatha, closer to the Mthatha Airport. The success of this play, composed and directed by Mr. Sodo himself, is reflected in the fact that it had to be taken on stage at Port St. Johns during the festive season. This was one way the unemployed matriculants raised funds for themselves.
Mr. Sodo later registered at the University of Transkei, studying Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts Honours, and Higher Diploma in Education as well as Masters in Education. The latter study remains incomplete with a dissertation being the only outstanding element. Mr. Sodo is currently registering this element focusing on Social Cohesion. He has worked in various government departments, namely, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Health, Foreign Affairs as well as the Department of Education. The man had a stint of three years as an Assistant Editor of small but progressive newspaper, Intsimbi Xhosa News. He later became an educator, a principal of school and inspector of schools before joining the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture. In the Department he has worked as a Senior Deputy Chief Education Specialist in charge of School Sport in the Eastern Region, District Manager of King Sabata Dalindyebo District as well as District Manager of the O R Tambo District. There are a number of projects, with a focus on Arts and Culture that grew in leaps and bounds under his stewardship. Among others, the commemoration of the Ingquza Hill Massacre, SDI Wild Coast Cultural Festival which later merged with Isingqi Sethu Cultural Festival, championed by Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency, the creation of the bust of late King Sabata Dalindyebo "Ah Jonguhlanga" and the late King Victor Poto Ndamase "Ah Bhekuzulu".
The newly appointed GM: Cultural Affairs come with skills in the area of Labour Relations as he holds two NQF Level 7 qualifications (Diplomas) from the renowned Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University as well as the Graduate Institute of Management and Technology. In addition, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Business School has recently awarded him an NQF Level 7 qualification through its Executive Development Programme. Various departments like the Provincial Treasury, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs as well as the Department of Roads and Public Works have used his skills in the past in the area of Labour Relations. He currently serves in the Appeals Committee of the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture. He holds a certificate on Results-Based Management Systems of Public and Development Sectors from the University of Witwatersrand Business School (NQF Level 8).